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Change Maker: John Scrivens, Skipton Building Society

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  • 26/06/2023
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Change Maker: John Scrivens, Skipton Building Society
As part of the Change Makers initiative, Mortgage Solutions spoke to Skipton Building Society’s new build and first-time buyer lead, John Scrivens (pictured) about his work on diversity and inclusivity in the mortgage market.

Scrivens has been with Skipton Building Society since 2015. Prior to that, he was at the Lloyds Banking Group. He has over a quarter of century’s experience in the financial services market.

He is an advocate for greater diversity and inclusivity (D&I) in the industry, and has worked closely with both the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) and the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) to facilitate change within the sector and raise awareness of an issue that is at the very heart of the Change Maker’s initiative.

 

What initiative or project saw you nominated as a Change Maker?

I believe my nomination was for recognising my input over the years on D&I, both at Skipton and in the broader industry.

Over the past couple of years, I have become an active member to bring greater collaboration between IMLA and AMI on D&I. I regularly supported and hosted IMLA working group meetings with peers from other lenders. This was from inception of the working group, on which the executive committee had asked for volunteers. I created content and delivered webinars on a number of topics.

Also internally at Skipton, I have been proactive in raising awareness in a number of ways. From hosting webinars with colleagues on the ‘bystander effect’ or talking about how ‘stereotyping and banter’ affects people.

I have also been an active member of the Society’s D&I Sounding Board Network, which saw me working with senior leaders across the business to design and implement a more inclusive work force.

 

Why did this project mean so much to you?

I’ve worked in financial services for over 25 years and am in a position today where I can influence and create change for a more inclusive work industry.

Being part of so many different networks and trade body working groups, it has been possible for me to broaden and, more importantly, diversify my network of contacts.

Why is this so important to me? As a white, 40-year-old man, how could I possibly understand what it feels like for so many other people that don’t share the same characteristics as me. I have proactively reached out to people to simply talk and share experiences. I have learnt so much from these conversations and would encourage others to do more in this way. I feel like I have made new friends for life.

 

How did you go about bringing the initiative to life?

Sharing best practices and creating allyships across Skipton, IMLA and AMI. Being a part of the Diversity and Inclusivity Financial Forum (DIFF) enabled me to meet new people from across the industry. And everyone involved has been so open to talking, sharing and most importantly supporting one another.

Through these contacts I have invited numerous new allies to come to Skipton to talk about D&I in a way that we haven’t before. For example, with support from other DIFF members, I held webinars for Skipton colleagues on topics such as stereotyping and banter in the workplace and D&I more generally.

For internal colleagues at the society, being able to engage with external guests has been really powerful. Also being an active member of the trade body work, namely IMLA and AMI, I have offered my experiences of working in financial services and become a mentor.

 

What are the current or next steps?

For me, now is the important part. I am genuinely looking forward to supporting new and existing talent into this wonder world of financial services by offering my time as a mentor.

Another step for me is to be a role model in leadership and not being afraid to call out any inequality or prejudice, not walking past inappropriate behaviour at industry events (especially when alcohol is involved) and being the best ally I can be to anyone in both my work and personal life.

 

What does it mean to you to be nominated as a Change Maker?

Being recognised by colleagues at Skipton and the broader industry has been lovely.

This isn’t why I got involved in this area though. As a father of two young girls, I see far too often that there are still too many imbalances in the workplace. Be it at events or simply the smaller number of females in executive positions, work is still needed and it’s time for positive action to be taken.

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